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Fight Club [Paperback]

Chuck Palahniuk
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (501 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2005

Chuck Palahniuk's outrageous and startling debut novel that exploded American literature and spawned a movement.

THE FIRST RULE about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

Every weekend, in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country, young men with whitecollar jobs and failed lives take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded just as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter, and dark, anarchic genius, and it's only the beginning of his plans for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world.

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From Amazon

The only person who gets called Ballardesque more often than Chuck Palahniuk is, well... J.G. Ballard. So, does Portland, Oregon's "torchbearer for the nihilistic generation" deserve that kind of treatment? Yes and no. There is a resemblance between Fight Club and works such as Crash and Cocaine Nights in that both see the innocuous mundanities of everyday life as nothing more than the severely loosened cap on a seething underworld cauldron of unchecked impulse and social atrocity. Welcome to the present-day U.S. of A. As Ballard's characters get their jollies from staging automobile accidents, Palahniuk's yuppies unwind from a day at the office by organizing bloodsport rings and selling soap to fund anarchist overthrows. Let's just say that neither of these guys are going to be called in to do a Full House script rewrite any time soon.

But while the ingredients are the same, Ballard and Palahniuk bake at completely different temperatures. Unlike his British counterpart, who tends to cast his American protagonists in a chilly light, holding them close enough to dissect but far enough away to eliminate any possibility of kinship, Palahniuk isn't happy unless he's first-person front and center, completely entangled in the whole sordid mess. An intensely psychological novel that never runs the risk of becoming clinical, Fight Club is about both the dangers of loyalty and the dreaded weight of leadership, the desire to band together and the compulsion to head for the hills. In short, it's about the pride and horror of being an American, rendered in lethally swift prose. Fight Club's protagonist might occasionally become foggy about who he truly is (you'll see what I mean), but one thing is for certain: you're not likely to forget the book's author. Never mind Ballardesque. Palahniukian here we come! --Bob Michaels --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring soap made from human fat, waiters at high-class restaurants who do unmentionable things to soup and an underground organization dedicated to inflicting a violent anarchy upon the land, Palahniuk's apocalyptic first novel is clearly not for the faint of heart. The unnamed (and extremely unreliable) narrator, who makes his living investigating accidents for a car company in order to assess their liability, is combating insomnia and a general sense of anomie by attending a steady series of support-group meetings for the grievously ill, at one of which (testicular cancer) he meets a young woman named Marla. She and the narrator get into a love triangle of sorts with Tyler Durden, a mysterious and gleefully destructive young man with whom the narrator starts a fight club, a secret society that offers young professionals the chance to beat one another to a bloody pulp. Mayhem ensues, beginning with the narrator's condo exploding and culminating with a terrorist attack on the world's tallest building. Writing in an ironic deadpan and including something to offend everyone, Palahniuk is a risky writer who takes chances galore, especially with a particularly bizarre plot twist he throws in late in the book. Caustic, outrageous, bleakly funny, violent and always unsettling, Palahniuk's utterly original creation will make even the most jaded reader sit up and take notice. Movie rights to Fox 2000.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
TYLER GETS ME a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am this reviewer's mouth, falling open. July 26 2004
By A Customer
This is one of the most original books ever to come down the pike. (What exactly IS a pike, anyway?) The entire novel, written in first person, focuses around an insomniac, unhappy in his life, his job; material comfort means absolutely nothing, despite how much time he's meticulously devoted to furnishing his apartment. The narrator finds comfort in the most unlikely of places: Support groups for various diseases he doesn't even have. This lasts for years until someone else develops the same kind of addiction: The chain-smoking Marla Singer. If you're looking for book without a BIG twist, then pass this one by, for Mr. P. will give you an ending that you won't soon forget. Twist and twisted doesn't even begin to describe this one. And, unlike the fight club in the movie, you CAN talk about it. Without a doubt, one of the most unusual and unique books ever. Also recommended: BARK OF THE DOGWOOD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soap suds and more Feb. 7 2005
Fight Club was the first Chuck Palahniuk novel I read, and I have since become a die-hard fan of his works. I first saw the movie with my friend and fell in love with the story. She was the one who first recommended reading the novel, because according to her, the movie leaves out too many things, and you need to read the book to get the full impact of the story. She couldn't have been more right. I purchased the book and read non-stop for two days, then watched the movie again. It's truly captivating. The best thing, however, is not the story itself but the way in which Palahniuk presents the story. His writing style is one that is brilliant and unique. The characters he creates are intense, and you manage to find parts of yourself that relate the each of them, parts of yourself and your mind that you didn't even know existed. This book is amazing, as are all of Chuck Palahniuk's novels. Would also recommend the following books: Children's Corner by McCrae, Survivor, Plot Against America, and Bark of the Dogwood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative Novel...Stunning....Great July 21 2005
Living in a nihilistic society where your life needs to be threatened to feel alive, Fight Club takes us to a place beneath the surface, where we are broken down and bottom out before we can recreate ourselves better and stronger. The relationship between the POV and his mentor/nemesis, Tyler Durden, ranges from hero-worship to pure homoerotica. Palahniuk's first novel is a social commentary that gives the proletariat the upper-hand to change the world through planned acts of random violence. One great, great book.
Also recommended: "Choke," "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome May 31 2008
By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER
this is an amazing book. if you've seen the movie there won't be any surprises, but the book goes more in depth into the concepts and such so the reader can get a firmer grasp on the ideas the author is trying to convey.

the story starts off with this guy who's going to these anonymous groups for people with terminal diseases, but he doesn't have a terminal disease. so right at the beginning of the book we have the main character searching out destruction as a way to solve his discontent. the cause of his discontent of course would be that he feels he doesn't belong within his own society, that his individual self has no presence when interacting with society as a whole. so the individual revolts against society, reasserting its authority over itself. and this would be the reason for fight club. what makes fight club so wonderfully appropriate as a beacon for the individual to rise up against society is that society finds the concept of fight club so abhorrent, it doesn't understand the logic. society's morality dictates that we are all special individuals that are to cherished. we are all special individuals... something of an paradox, but as we all sway to society's rhythm we can see the logic. but if we take this statement apart and apply it to our own lives, because the western world believes this to be true, generation me as an example, and yet we are all alienated and desire/ are forced to be the same. one of the mantra's in this book was 'i am not a special snow flake' or something to that effect. by denying society's morality, the individual recognizes their discontent and counters it (of course in real life the contrasting extreme is no better than what caused the trouble in the first place, but one very much deserves the other... and its great for symbolic purposes:P).
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5.0 out of 5 stars You are not your incisive social critique Sept. 24 2004
By now the plot to Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club is well-know; unfortunately, it's also still widely misunderstood. All those reviewers who saw a celebration of violence and nihilism completely missed the point: this is a work of satire.
Palahniuk criticises (quite successfully, I thought) consumer and self-improvement culture, as well as the state and capitalism. However, the real target becomes the social movement itself, and the way in which such a movement can degenerate into facism. Fight Club begins as a movement to extoll the individual, but ends up destroying him in the name of the "greater good" (in this way, Palahniuk also takes a stab at Communism). Men who are first taught that they alone have the power to control history, are later forced to alter their physical appearace and mindlessly chant slogans such as, "you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake", and "I am the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world".
Palahniuk shows us how a young man, first disillusioned with his job and his possessions, soon loses focus and ends up being angry at everything: society, history, God Himself. The book's characterizations are accurate: history is always most profoundly altered by angry young men.
The book is written in tense first-person narrative, with Palahniuk firing off page after page of potent and memorable prose. It's unfortunate that most people, acting on their biases and the word of others, will never get to appreciate it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Even better then the movie.
Published 2 months ago by Robert L. Mathieson
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite book
This is my favourite story of all time. I've never heard a story anything that I relate to so much, which is hard to believe because it's an odd story.
Published 10 months ago by Shana
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
Saw the movie before reading the book. Even though the motion picture was great (brilliant some would say), as usual the book is so much better. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Christian Maranda
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
One of the best books I've read in along time. I read it after the movie and only made me appreciate the movie that much more. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Karn Saroya
5.0 out of 5 stars Très bien
Exactement ce dont j'avais besoin à un bien meilleur prix que ce qui se trouve en général sur le net
Published 18 months ago by Marie-Lyse Regnaud
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Purchase
This is an absolutely amazing novel. It arrived in good time, in good condition, and was offered at a very good price. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Racalatta
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uppercut
If you have ever felt that a book was written specifically for you and speaks to you on a level that is beyond comprehension you will understand how I feel about Fight Club. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2012 by Capital
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied Customer.
I ordered a USED copy of Palahniuk's Fight Club, it was shipped promptly, arrived in good condition. I was not disappointed. I will order from Alpha Textbooks INC. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2012 by B. Edward
There's not much I can say about FIGHT CLUB that hasn't been said already (besides I'm not supposed to talk about it -first rule of FC and all) It's one of those books on... Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2011 by Buggy
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight Literature
I haven't seen the movie so all that I can comment on is the book. I was expecting a screed against consumerism and instead I got a mediocre psychological thriller. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by Daffy Bibliophile
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